JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia to cut defence spending in bid to prop up ailing economy; Continued support for less well-off set to wipe out fiscal surplus of recent years” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

File Photo of Close-Up of Line of Russian Soldiers in Dress Uniforms for Parade, adapted from image at georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov with credit to Eric Draper

“Russia will spend more on supporting its economy than funding its armed forces next year for the first time since 2014 … ahead of critical parliamentary elections. … [with economic] doldrums … amid low oil prices and western sanctions … [and with the economy] contract[ing] sharply … due to … coronavirus …. The Kremlin announced …  [higher] spending … to mitigate … Covid-19 [damage] and arrest … fall[ing] … living standards and household incomes … [that undercut ratings for] … Putin[] and … [United Russia] …. Moscow is set to [reduce] defence spending and … handouts to oil companies … increasing taxes on metal and mining industries and high-earners to help pay for the rise in spending, alongside increased borrowing … increas[ing] … public debt … by about 50 per cent. …”

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